Ohtani Shohei (Angels) or Darvish Yu (San Diego)? In any case, it seems difficult to avoid the situation where Korean batters face Japanese Major League pitchers.
On the 29th, Japan’s Nikkan Sports predicted a pitcher rotation for the Japanese WBC (World Baseball Classic) national team. Given the tournament after the quarterfinals, it is expected that the major leaguer one-two punch will take over his first two games. The media predicted that Ohtani would play in the match against China on the 9th and Darvish in the match against Korea on the 10th.
However, another Japanese media, Sponichi, said on the 18th that there is a high possibility that Ohtani will be in charge of the Korean War. It was the most important match in the first round, and if you look at the tournament schedule, it was analyzed that Ohtani should appear on the 10th.
Nikkan Sports had different predictions for Darvish Sponichi and Ohtani, but the basis was the same. Both media outlets concluded that major leaguers would be the starters from the beginning of the tournament when the rotation after the quarterfinals was calculated. In the end, it means that a major league starter is likely to play against Korea and Japan. 메이저놀이터
Another hint-worthy remark came from Chiba Lotte manager Masato Yoshii and pitching coach for the national team. Coach Yoshii expressed his personal opinion that he would like to use Ohtani and Darvish in the quarterfinals, and send Rocky Sasaki (Chiba Lotte) or Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix) in the semifinals and finals under the premise that ‘it is up to coach Kuriyama to decide’.
Coach Yoshii didn’t talk about the first round rotation. However, the number of cases is narrowed when considering the tournament concept, the number of pitches, and the date of the game. Ohtani and Darvish are highly likely to pitch in one of the three matches against China on the 9th, against Korea and Japan on the 10th, and against the Czech Republic on the 11th. This is because if you throw more than 50 pitches in the game against Australia on the 12th, you cannot play in the quarterfinals on the 16th.
However, Ohtani and Darvish are not the only pitchers Korea should prepare for. Because of the pitch limit, you can only throw up to 65 pitches in the first round. Japan is planning to overcome this problem by forming an entry centered on starting pitchers. Shōsei Dogo (Yomiuri), Shota Imana (DeNA), and Hiroya Miyagi (Orix) are emerging as ‘+1’ starting cards.